A Morgan poll finds 76.9% of 1,002 people want a Customs ship to monitor Japanese whaling.
Greens senator Nick McKim said the Coalition was backing away from the monitoring commitment made in opposition, and PM Malcolm Turnbull had refused to express anything stronger than "disappointment" about whaling on his recent visit to Japan.
The poll comes at the end of a fraught year on the whaling issue, in which Japanese whaling company Kyodo Senpaku was fined $1m for wilful contempt of the Australian federal court, after breaching an order to stop killing whales.
The decision to resume whaling also flies in the face of a 2014 international court of justice (ICJ) ruling saying the programme had no basis in science and should be halted.
A spokesman for environment minister, Greg Hunt, said: "The govt has made representations at the highest level to urge Japan not to resume whaling and we will continue to do so. We will also continue our efforts in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) to strongly oppose commercial whaling, and to promote whale conservation."
However in 2013 when in opposition, Hunt strongly supported having a Customs vessel in the Southern Ocean...